You don’t need an old home to create spaces filled with character. With just a few antique finds, you can create a cozy space with a ton of old time charm. Check out how I did that with this mantel in our master bedroom!
Something I get asked a lot about is how to add character to houses that don’t have a lot built into them. Whether it is a new build or an older home that has been stripped of it’s original character over the years, I believe there are always ways to add it back in. One of the easiest ways to add character to a home is through decorating.
Choose Your Focus Items
For this mantel, I wanted to display this cool wooden wagon part (the barrel looking thing in the picture below). My Dad found this for me on the side of the road and knew I would love it! Can you believe someone was throwing this antique away?!
When I style spaces, I like to start with 1-3 items that I love. For example, I based this mantel off of the wooden “barrel” and this old pencil portrait. I found this portrait at an estate sale recently and have been looking for the perfect place to display him. I originally thought it was just a print, but realized once I got it home it is a pencil drawing. Try to find pieces that really stand out to you and that make you feel happy when you look at them.
Shop Your House
Next I shopped my house for items that I could pair with the barrel and Edward (the name I gave this handsome fella). I pulled this wood framed mirror to add height and incorporate the wood from the wooden barrel accent piece. Mirrors are a go-to for me because they can add height, dimension, and layer well. They can also make a space feel larger than it is, so if you are working in a small space a mirror or two can do wonders! I also added an old leather doctor’s bag and an antique book with dark binding. I then added more neutral items, like the corbel, “naked” books, clear glass jars, and a smaller white mirror.
Pulling It All Together
When displaying items on a mantel or shelf, I like to balance the items in terms of their size and colors. Here, the darker items (wood mirror, barrel, picture, bag, and book) are all evenly distributed and make a triangle. The mirror is the largest item and centered with the mantel, the barrel and portrait are on either side, and the bag and book complete the triangle on each end of the display. I used the neutral items to fill empty space and add a bit more detail. Together, I like to think that this mantel tells a story. I can picture a man like Edward living in our house back in the day, so I tried to create a display that told that story. Keeping a theme in mind can help when choosing items for a space and pulling it all together.
I hope this post inspires you and makes adding character to your home seem a bit more do-able. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog, it means the world to me!